"The Presidential Unit Citation (Navy) is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and cobelligerent nations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy.
The character of the action must be comparable to that which would merit award of a NAVY CROSS to an individual."


"I never think of a Marine but what I think of a man who wants to do more, not less; a man you have to hold back and not shove. As I present you with this citation, I salute you in the name of the freedom that you defend and the honor that you have won for your country."-Lyndon B. Johnson, 17 October 1968

President Johnson said the above words as he awarded the Presidential Unit Citation to the entire 5th Marine Regiment for their heroic actions on Operations UNION I, and II in May 1967. (Source of information: "United States Marines" published by the United States Marine Corps Division of Information, Feb. 1969).

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the


for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism in action against North Vietnamese forces during Operations UNION AND UNION II in the Que Son area, Republic of Vietnam, from 25 April to 5 June 1967. Throughout this period, the 5th Marines (Reinforced) was assigned the mission of destroying the enemy forces, their supplies and equipment. With the initiation of a heavy engagement by a Marine rifle company in the vicinity of La Nga (2), the 5th Marines deployed to exploit the contact.

 Despite extremely short notice, the reinforced Regiment moved with alacrity to meet the enemy's challenge. This rapid reaction resulted in the establishment of contact with a well-organized North Vietnamese Army force; once engaged, the 5th Marines tenaciously pursued the enemy over an extensive pattern of rice paddies, hedgerows and fortified hamlets. Unable to disengage while being subjected to relentless pressure, the 21st North Vietnamese Regiment finally made its stand at the hamlet of Phouc Duc (4). 

For four days commencing 12 May, the 5th Marines resolutely attacked the fortified enemy positions.  Valiantly withstanding heavy enemy mortar barrages and repelling fierce enemy counterattacks, the Marines shattered the entrenched enemy. Operation UNION II was launched on 26 May with a helicopter-borne assault to destroy the withdrawing remnants of the 21st North Vietnamese Regiment.  

Attacking aggressively, the 5th Marines uncovered the 3rd North Vietnamese Regiment dug in near Vinh Huy and were met by a withering barrage of mortar, machine-gun and recoilless rifle fire. Resolute in their determination, the Marines continued to maintain pressure and, at nightfall, launched a bold night attack which ruptured the enemy's defenses and drove the tattered vestiges of the North Vietnamese unit from the field.   

UNION and UNION II inflicted over three thousand enemy casualties and eliminated the 2nd North Vietnamese Army Division as a combat force to be reckoned with for many months. By their aggressive fighting spirit, superb tactical skill, steadfastness under fire, consummate professionalism and countless acts of individual heroism, the officers and men of the 5th Marine Regiment (Reinforced) upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Service.

See also Operations UNION I and UNION II